Why Labour can win

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Many in the media recently have dismissed Labour’s chances of winning the next General Election.

Most of this speculation is nonsense. Labour are still far more likely to lead the next government than anyone else.

Consider…

  1. Labour are ahead in the polls.

Much has been made of Labour’s apparently small opinion poll leads recently. Yet Labour is currently (according to the UK Polling Report), a full six percent ahead of the Tories. With the parliamentary boundary system favouring Labour this would lead to a Labour majority of 76, bigger than Tony Blair’s majority in 2005 (66) or Margaret Thatcher’s in 1979 (43). Labour would have to do substantially worse than this to be anything other than the largest political party.

  1. Things look much better than they did last time.

Labour are much more popular than they were in 2010 and Ed Miliband is far more popular than Gordon Brown was. And let us remember: in 2010, the Tories didn’t even manage to win a majority. How badly will they do this time?

  1. The Tories haven’t won a General Election in 21 years.

All the evidence suggests the electorate do not like the Tories much. They have not won a General Election since John Major led them to a surprise win in April 1992. A child born on the day of that result, had time to grow up and be old enough to vote in the last election which despite Gordon Brown’s unpopularity and a global economic slump, the Tories still failed to win yet again! They have been behind in the polls almost constantly for the last three years. The public clearly don’t like them.

  1. The Liberal Democrat factor.

Having consistently been betrayed by their party leadership since 2010, the evidence suggests many disillusioned Lib Dems will be fleeing the party in droves. Where are they going to go? It is in Labour’s interests to capitalise on their disaffection.

  1. The UKIP factor.

By splitting the right wing vote, UKIP are making a Labour victory ever more likely.

  1. Leadership.

It is true Ed Miliband is less popular than David Cameron, presumably largely a consequence of unsophisticated attacks from the Tory press. Yet, this isn’t a presidential election. Clement Attlee led Labour to a huge victory in 1945 despite facing the far more popular Winston Churchill. And Margaret Thatcher’s victory in 1979 was achieved despite the fact that voters consistently expressed a personal preference for Labour’s Prime Minister Jim Callaghan. It also should be remembered that the election is nearly two years away and voters have responded well to Miliband’s One Nation message.

  1. Economic recovery won’t benefit the Tories.

As in 1997, there is little sign the electorate will be grateful to a government that has consistently got it so wrong over the economy. Even if there are signs of economic resurgence by 2015, there is little sense the Tories deserve any credit for it or that they will receive it. The same was true in 1997, when Labour won its largest ever victory despite an economic recovery which totally failed to vanquish memories of Tory incompetence on Black Wednesday five years earlier.

  1. The Tories are desperate.

Ultimately, this is a shambolic weak government with next to no achievements to its name and more prone to division, u-turns and excuses than anything else. Compare this to Labour’s period in office which witnessed a decade of prosperity, a dramatic fall in crime, peace in Northern Ireland finally achieved and massive improvements in education and the NHS.

Complacency is dangerous, but Labour are still far more likely to be victorious in 2015 than any other party.

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18 thoughts on “Why Labour can win

  1. I think their position should be excellent if the leadership was being consistently true to their original principles. However they are frequently allowing the gov to pass bills that are v unpopular amongst working people. Yest they had a victory on the vote about the war… but they had actually only requested postponing until there’s firm evidence… rather than what many of their traditional supporters would wish for which would be a vote against any intervention. I’m deeply disappointed in Milliband… he seemed so promising… but he’s allowed labour to abstain so many times… that the coalition have done much damage. I think the only hope would be replacing him. Sorry to be bleak but I think if they go into an election as they are, there’s no guarantees we won’t have a similar outcome to in 2010 or worse.

  2. I’d say your logic is about as good as your numbering.

    Certainly, the country lives in hope of never having a Labour government again.

  3. I fear you may be right that Labour may form the next government. I’d question your statement regarding “massive improvements” in the NHS and education system though, unless you call higher than average death rates, criminal neglect, insolvency and hospital infections improvements? As for education, our system is rapidly descending the world rankings thanks to Labour’s social engineering drive to give anyone who could get through the door a Micky mouse degree. This made a free university education unaffordable for the state, resulting in the need for tuition fees which destroyed the very social mobility they’d sought to engender.
    Their economic policy is so misguided there’s simply not enough space on one blog to detail its failings! Suffice to say that “A socialist is a person who has read Marx and believes it, a capitalist is a person who has read Marx and understands it”
    UKIP is certainly a problem for the Tories but Labour are being very complacent if they think they will be unaffected by UKIP’s rise. Much of UKIP’s policy appeals directly to the values of traditional working class Labour voters.
    But, despite all Labour’s past failings and their pathetic presence in opposition, they do still stand a good chance of re-election, due in part to the fall in educational standards and a Tory government hamstrung by it’s coalition with the Lib Dem’s, lacking any real ideological drive or conviction politics from Dave C and curtailed by the economic legacy of Labours massive spend and borrow policies that endured all through the boom times and well into the global down turn.
    If Labour do win, the country will be rapidly paddled back up shit creek before tossing the paddle as far into the economic wilderness as humanly possible. They’ll then borrow their way to Greek levels of insolvency while wondering why there are no businesses left in the country to tax anymore.
    I’m not arguing that the Tories are perfect, far from it, but the lesser of two evils? Certainly!

    • Thanks for youjr comments but I certainly don’t agree. Mortality rates fell consistently under Labour – look it up! – and as approval ratings for the NHS rose considerably between 1997 and 2010, clearly most people don’t share your assessment of this issue!
      Answer me this: if Labour were so terrible in office, why were they elected heavily three times? Presumably, you think the electorate are stupid? I do not hold them in such contempt myself.

      • Would that be the approval ratings compiled by Labour then?
        The abject failure and complicit negligence of the Care Quality Commission (formerly the Healthcare Commission) to properly monitor and report the myriad failings and scandals within the NHS while it was under the strict oversight of Labour health ministers would suggest that “improvement” was not a word associated with Labours governance of the health service.

        My personal experience of the NHS (and that of everyone else I know, including patients, nurses, GP’s and Consultants) rates very far from approval.

        And yes I do think the electorate is stupid, the popularity of X Factor and One Direction and the election of three successive Labour governments prove this.

      • “Everyone in the UK” does not believe that NHS is perfect, or even acceptable.

        “Everyone in the UK” does not watch the X-Factor or One Direction (who ever they are).

        “Everyone in the UK” does not believe the CQC did a bang-up job.

        “Everyone in the UK” did not vote labour.

        I therefore conclude that “everyone in the UK” is not stupid.

        But enough of them are stupid enough to believe the NHS is acceptable, watch the X-Factor, applaud the CQC and vote for labour that this country has gone to the dogs.

        And it’s not going to get any better.

  4. I didn’t say “everyone”, but to be clear, of the 63 million people in the UK, 8.6 million of them voted Labour,19,7 million watched the last series of the X factor and 2.1 million have bought One Direction singles, so they are all definitely, “a bit special”.
    Everyone else can have the benefit of the doubt, for now. Except SNP voters obviously, oh and pro EU membership supporters, that goes without saying and mime artists.

    • Now, now. Don’t be rude to SNP supporters. The sooner they take Alex Salmond and the member for Kircaldy out of the UK, the better.

      • Well, perhaps the fact that you and other Tories assume the electorate are “stupid”, explains why the Tories haven’t won a General Election since 1992. Why would anyone vote for a party that obviously regards them with such contempt?

  5. Actually Chris they won the last election, and for a very good reason. Tony Blair and Gordon Brown sold the country ‘up the river’, and if Labour get in again they will send us even further up it and then throw away the paddle.

  6. I give up! It seems Chris you have made up your mind and there is no moving you from it. OK it’s your prerogative and I do not condemn you for it. Each of us has the right to their own opinion. We will see when election time comes around, but believe me when I say, if Labour do get in again the country will regret it deeply.

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